Also, Microsoft launches Universal Mobile Keyboard, 10 million Roku boxes, Netflix hits Germany, and YouTube used to propose marriage.
Apple iPhone 6 Reviews Roundup
The iPhone 6 and its phablet sibling the iPhone 6 Plus were unveiled last week in California. The first units will be reaching customers on Friday (Sept. 19), but the reviews are already in. To save you the hassle of searching the Web for iPhone 6 reviews, we have selected five at random, and then picked out the highlights of each for a reviews roundup.
CNET scores the iPhone 6 highly, suggesting it’s bigger and better than its predecessors in almost every way. However, it counters the enthusiasm with the warning that “on the whole, the 6 is a product that feels like a collection of overdue Android features, given an excellent polish by Apple hardware and software design. It’s a really, really good phone. It’s [just] not revolutionary.”
The Verge suggests “the iPhone 6 is utterly without obvious problems or drawbacks” before complaining about a lack of “optimization for the larger screen,” “unsightly lines on the back,” and an “awkwardly protruding camera lens.” The iPhone 6 scores a nine out of 10 despite the admission that “there’s nothing truly ambitious here, no grand vision of the future or of a new way of living in the present.”
Re/code (or, more specifically, known Apple fan Walt Mossberg) mentions the smooth back makes the iPhone 6 “feel a bit slippery in your palm.” However, that’s his only complaint, and the review concludes, “It’s the best smartphone on the market, when you combine its hardware, all-new operating system, and the Apple ecosystem whose doors it opens.”
TechCrunch sets its stall out early, calling the iPhone 6 “the best smartphone currently available.” The unfettered praise continues with the suggestion that “Apple has managed to recapture the energy and excitement that came with the original iPhone.” And ends with the conclusion that “it’s all about delivering the best computer you can keep in your pocket, and that’s exactly what the iPhone 6 is.”
Engadget suggests this is another incremental update from Apple, with the assertion that “this year’s iPhones aren’t groundbreaking, nor are they perfect. But they demonstrate something far more important to Apple’s success in the long run: freshness.” It may not be revolutionary, but with “fast performance, a great display, an elegant new design and a much-needed software update, it’s one of the best smartphones you can buy right now.”
To sum up, the iPhone 6 is gaining mostly positive reviews, and some reviewers appear happy to proudly display their fanboy bias on their sleeves. However, others name several small issues, and the general consensus suggests that while this is the best iPhone released to date, it’s an evolutionary rather than revolutionary update which has added features already present on many Android phones.
TL;DR: Apple fans will love the iPhone 6, but everyone else will likely give it a miss.
Your Amazon Can Be Hacked Via A Kindle Book
— Kathleen Ortiz (@KOrtizzle) September 16, 2014
Your Amazon account is at risk of being hacked via a script injected into the title of Kindle eBooks. If you download an eBook loaded with the script, the hacker can gain access to your Amazon account as soon as you open the Manage Your Kindle page.
Security researcher Benjamin Daniel Mussler discovered the hack last October, and Amazon quickly patched it after being informed of the issue. However, as reported by The Digital Reader, Amazon has since reintroduced the security hole, so this possible backdoor is currently wedged wide open.
The advice is to resist downloading pirated eBooks, because they’re the ones likely to be loaded with this malicious script. Not that you should have been downloading them in the first place, of course.
Microsoft Launches Universal Mobile Keyboard
Microsoft has created a mobile keyboard that works with iOS and Android devices, as well as Windows devices. The Universal Mobile Keyboard (a name which further proves Microsoft sucks at naming things) can be paired with smartphones and tablets of any assignation, with a button allowing you to switch between operating systems.
The Universal Mobile Keyboard features a protective cover that also turns the device on or off, a detachable stand, and a rechargeable battery that can last a full day after just 10 minutes of charging. This product, which underlines Microsoft’s desire to evolve into a new company, will be released in October and priced at $79.95.
10 Million Roku Boxes Have Been Sold
— Roku (@RokuPlayer) September 16, 2014
Roku has sold 10 million streaming set-top boxes in the United States. The company announced the milestone with a clever infographic thanking its customers for making Roku “America’s favorite streaming player.” Roku has been selling streaming media players since 2008, which explains how it has racked up such impressive sales.
However, the competition has ramped up recently, with the Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV now legitimate alternatives. Which will make it more difficult for Roku to reach 20 million set-top boxes sold.
Netflix Goes Live In Germany
— NetflixDE (@NetflixDE) September 16, 2014
Netflix has now gone live in Germany, just a few days after launching in France. As in France, the German Netflix will cost €7.99-per-month and bring a mix of domestic and international television shows and movies to customers.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings boasted, “We are proud to bring the future of television to Germany. German consumers now have instant access to a great selection of shows and movies, anytime and anywhere.” In other news, bears have been found to defecate in the woods.
Using YouTube To Propose Marriage
And finally, uploading 1,000 original videos on YouTube is quite an achievement, but how on earth do you celebrate such a milestone? You could, as Wheezy Waiter did, use the opportunity to propose to your girlfriend. Perhaps not in the traditional get-down-on-one-knee-and-ask style, but rather using the first letters of the titles of your previous 15 videos. Which is ingenious, and really rather sweet. [H/T Reddit]
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
What do you make of the early iPhone 6 reviews? Are you concerned by the ease with which your Amazon account can be hacked? What’s the most innovative use of YouTube you have ever seen?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Dave Crosby via Flickr